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Acclaimed American neuroscientist Dr Vivienne Ming will take to the stage at TechFest

By Kyle Ritchie

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TechFest’s annual science festival will begin its closing weekend with an inspiring talk by renowned neuroscientist Dr Vivienne Ming, on "The Neuroscience of Trust".

The event on Friday, November 17, will see Dr Ming, who has travelled to the UK from her home in the USA, explore the complexity of human relationships and its impact on the workplace.

Dr Ming’s talk is a prestigious new addition to the festival programme and will be held in the Fraser Noble Building at the University of Aberdeen.

Dr Vivienne Ming will take to the stage at TechFest.
Dr Vivienne Ming will take to the stage at TechFest.

During the course of the talk, Dr Ming, who is a specialist on artificial intelligence, will focus on the intriguing workings of the brain when it comes to understanding others.

Backing up her claims with research, Dr Ming will provide real world examples and show how people can hack their brains in the workplace, showcasing how to overcome natural instincts which might hinder the ability to create and support diversity and success.

Dr Ming said: “Diversity, combined with trust, lifts innovation and productivity. I have spent a good portion of the last 10 years arguing the business case for inclusion.

"Our choices must start with fairness first, this means building a diverse team must come before all other considerations.

“It is not an argument about the potential business gains or the strategic value of balancing one objective against another. Fairness is about what is right.”

Sarah Chew, managing director of TechFest, said: “Throughout the course of the science festival we have hosted a wide range of incredible speakers and events covering a plethora of topics including true crime and forensic science, food and drink and Pokémon.

"Our science festival provides an unrivalled opportunity for audiences from across the north-east to access a variety of content not normally available in their local area.

"Dr Vivienne Ming was a key part of our digital science festival in 2020 so we are absolutely delighted to be welcoming her in person, and as a keynote speaker to begin closing out our 2023 festival.

“I am sure that her talk on the neuroscience of trust will prove extremely illuminating and that it will provide valuable insights to those able to be in the audience on the night.”

This year's festival began on October 29 and closes on November 18. Over the past three weeks, the TechFest team has delivered a packed programme of fascinating events aimed at both young and old, and covering a wide range of topics, with something to suit all interests.

The support of joint principal funders bp and Shell, and public programme sponsor Equinor, has meant that entry to each event is either free or just £2 per person.

Sarah added: “It is testament to the standard of our event that we can attract speakers of Dr Ming’s calibre to Aberdeen.”

To book tickets for Dr Ming’s talk, visit: The Neuroscience of Trust and the Diversity-Innovation Paradox Tickets, Fri 17 Nov 2023 at 18:30 | Eventbrite

TechFest is an Aberdeen-based charity which aims to engage young people in the four main STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and encourage them to go on to follow a career which utilises these skills, by demonstrating that they are both fun and relevant in day-to-day life.

As well as the science festival, the charity runs a programme of year-round events for schools and the wider community.

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